§ 71 Injection of produced water and other liquid or solid material into subsea geological formation
The operator shall hold a permit pursuant to Chapter 3 of the Pollution Control Act (in Norwegian only), for injection of produced water and other solid or liquid material, including drainage water and other oily water, drill cuttings with attachment of drilling fluids and formation oil and well streams from well cleanings and well start-ups, to subsea geological formations for final disposal.
For injection as mentioned in the first subsection, the following applies:
- The operator shall ensure that injected material remains permanently in the formation.
- Before selecting a storage formation, the operator shall map the geology of the formation and ensure that the storage formation is suitable for injection of the material in question.
- The operator shall have an overview of what is injected and in what quantities.
- The operator shall monitor the injection so that deviations in the injection process that entail a risk of leakage to the seabed, are detected as quickly as possible, cf. the Activities Regulations Section 57, so that necessary measures can be implemented.
- It is not permitted to mix other waste or material into the volumes that are injected than what follows from the permit.
Section last changed: 01 January 2024
The operator must obtain a permit from the Norwegian Environmental Agency for petroleum activities under Chapter 3 of the Pollution Control Act (in Norwegian only). Application for permit under the Pollution Control Act is subject to Chapter 36 of the Pollution Control Regulations (in Norwegian only), and a fee is fixed for the Environmental Agency’s processing relating to applications for permits pursuant to Chapter 39 of the Pollution Control Regulations (in Norwegian only).
The regulations’ general requirements for the petroleum activities on the continental shelf apply to all operators. The permits under the Pollution Control Act will normally contain conditions that are specific and adapted to each activity. Chapter 36 of the Pollution Control Regulations (in Norwegian only) gives further provisions on the processing of permits under the Pollution Control Act. The Norwegian Environment Agency has described further expectations for the content of applications and expected processing time in the Guidelines for applications regarding offshore petroleum activities: https://www.miljodirektoratet.no/ansvarsomrader/forurensning/petroleum/for-naringsliv/soknadsveileder-petroleum/. Chapter 39 of the Pollution Control Regulations (in Norwegian only) gives provisions for fees for work with permits.
Injection of liquid or solids into dedicated injection wells can be environmentally sound solutions. Injection of produced water for pressure support or for disposal is usually a better environmental solution than discharges to sea. Injection of cuttings drilled with oil-based drilling fluid is, under certain conditions, a preferred environmental solution over transport to land for treatment and disposal.
Added chemicals that accompany the well streams that are injected, shall be permitted to be used in accordance with the permit or the regulations Section 66.
The operator must be able to document that the storage formation and injection strategy have been chosen on the basis of geological properties, modeling and simulation of the injection process for planned volumes, and of analysis of the risk of leakage to the seabed.
What is injected and in what quantities must be reported in accordance with the Management Regulations Section 34 first subsection litera c.
It is not appropriate to regulate the injection of oil- or chemical-containing volumes based on the content of specific chemicals. Instead, injection of liquids and solids is regulated on the basis of how they are generated. Primarily, permission will be granted for the injection of liquid and solid substances that are directly related to well operations.
The operator has a general duty to avoid as far as possible that waste is generated, cf. the Activities Regulations Section 72. This also applies to volumes to be injected.
For injection into subsea geological formations of CO2, see Chapter 35 of the Pollution Control Regulations (in Norwegian only).